Wednesday, 18 May 2016

18th May 1816: Despite concessions, further disturbances occur in Brandon

Peacock (1965, pp.80-81) continues his description of the events in Brandon on Saturday 18th May 1816, as they now drew to a close:
Although they had been promised concessions the day before, the crowd reassembled on Saturday. This time they were alleged to have numbered 1,500 and many were armed with sticks, "the ends of which, to the extent of several inches, were studded with short iron spikes, sharp at the sides and points”. They also had a flag emblazoned "Bread or Blood" and threatened to march on London. Willett, from whom they had demanded prime joints of beef at 4d. a pound on the earlier days, was once again the main object of attack, and on this occasion his shop and house were completely destroyed. The mob then went off to Halesworth, but there are no reports of trouble either there or en route. Meanwhile, Willett and the Sheriff of Suffolk had hastened to London to ask the Home Secretary for military assistance to quell the rioters. 

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